As per the sources, it has been indicated that the Federal Government has withdrawn a subsidy on rice meant for the poor in view of the too much leakage in the programme. It has been told that the government has been distributing subsidized ST15 rice (Super Tempatan 15 per cent broken) variety since 2008 to ensure that the very poor could afford rice at the lowest price. According to Samsuddin Ismail, Padi and Rice Division secretary in the agriculture ministry narrated that studies had shown that the rice meant for low-income Malaysians were also being bought by non-Malaysians too.
Further, in this matter, it was quoted that there were also some distribution problems, insufficient supplies in some places and too much availability in other places. The ministry had taken various actions including terminating the licences of the dealers involved, however, the problems persisted. It has also been revealed that for the past two months, attempts have been sought the best means of ensuring that the assistance given would reach to the needy and really poor ones. It was added that the distribution of ST15 rice was meant to be a temporary programme to help the poor only, since ST15 rice variety is of a slightly lower quality compared to ST5, the local rice variety which is generally bought by the most Malaysians.